This is a tech site, we're supposed to be people who keep up with the latest in technology. I'm not sure, exactly, why I have to keep posting this over and over, but here we go again:
The "retarded" Verizon specific phones are actually some of the most compatible phones you can buy today. Not only do they work on the Verizon CDMA and "bastardized" LTE networks, but they include full functionality for GSM and HSPA networks. I have two Verizon phones, right at this moment, that I'm using full time on other networks with full capability. My Verizon iPhone 5S is currently being used on an AT&T postpaid plan. All LTE, HSPA, and GSM functions work with 100% compatibility. My Verizon LG G2 is being used on T-Mobile with full LTE, HSPA, and GSM services. Nearly every phone worth having today is fully compatible with the GSM/WCDMA (HSPA) network technology. Phones are becoming more compatible, not less.
Now, everyone always wants to trot out the fact that you can't take a phone from Carrier X and move it to Verizon, and this is true. Very few use cases actually involve moving a phone TO Verizon, however. But to say that Verizon phones are the bastard child of the cellular industry is simply untrue. In fact, they are more useful to some people, including myself, as I can take the aforementioned G2 or iPhone and put my Verizon SIM back in it and go on my way. Phone manufacturers have no incentive to make multiple product lines, yet they all still need to support Verizon as the largest carrier in the United States. So they make compatible phones, then simply disable the ability to connect to CDMA on the ones sold to GSM/HSPA providers. But the Verizon ones are compatible with GSM/HSPA and CDMA, making them the most versatile of all.
At any rate, things being more open rather than less is always a good thing. There are plenty of cases where a phone geek such as myself can benefit from having unlocked handsets lying around. Say someone breaks a phone, or an iPhone fanboy wants to try out Android (or the other way around), or traveling overseas, or trying out a new MVNO or prepaid carrier...just pop in the SIM and you're on your way. And as for the GP, millions of phones work on CDMA and GSM (and their descendents), they're just all sold by Verizon. But the FUD machine wants you to think there's no good reason to have handsets with carrier mobility, and for many folks, that's simply untrue.